Minister for Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training, And National Excellence, Honourable Octavia Alfred says Government continues to prioritize education in Dominica.
Minister Alfred says Government has awarded scholarships totaling over twenty-two million Eastern Caribbean dollars in 2020.
“As regards to education, the track record of this Government of investment in our people is both unprecedented and unmatched. we have one of the highest rates in the Eastern Caribbean of scholarships and general assistance to students pursuing tertiary education. That policy remains as a fundamental and philosophical position of this government as we continue to promote the complete empowerment of our people. In spite of the challenges brought on by the covid-19 pandemic, last year we spent about twenty two million dollars and this year we are on course to spending twenty three million,” Hon. Alfred stated.
Minister Alfred says the construction of some new schools will be funded by the People’s Republic of China. These schools include the Goodwill Secondary School, Thibaud, Calibishie, and the Tete Morne primary. The expansion of the Bellevue Chopin and Sineku Primary Schools will also be funded by the Chinese Government.
Upon completion, these schools are expected to create a safe and comfortable learning environment for teachers and students.
“These schools are expected to meet the demands for high quality teaching. These advanced, advanced resilient facilities will provide safe learning environments for all our children. All schools will have rooms for teaching and training including Early Childhood Development Units, rooms for administration and offices, including counseling rooms, health care rooms or sick bay, printing rooms, canteens, kitchen, washrooms, ICT, libraries, and storage,” the Education Minister explained.
The design phase for the schools is currently ongoing. Minister Alfred says these schools will be constructed in accordance with Government’s smart schools initiative.
“A design company, radio, film and T.V design and research institute, one of the top 100 design firms in People’s Republic of China was selected to do design work on all these new schools. All designs and plans have been submitted for review and discussion with stakeholders. Feedback on the design concepts will be submitted to the design company. The design group has submitted their work plans and the timelines will soon be submitted. We are pleased to share all these designs specifications with you. Considerations will include aspects such as facilitating the use of solar energy. The Ministry of Education and the ministry of Public Works together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue interacting virtually with the design group and to provide all necessary information and data needed for altering or revising the designs,” the Education Minister explained.
Minister Alfred added that the projects under the Basic Needs Trust Fund for the expansion and rehabilitation of the schools are progressing smoothly. These projects include the Morne Prosper Primary School security fencing and lighting, the Castle Bruce Secondary School chicken production facility and slaughter house, and the Dominica Community High School expansion.